Here I am, back again to pass along some knowledge on how to protect you and your art against generative AI. In fact, I’ve got a few posts happening now, and I’m sure more will come as the technology evolves, so I’m going to start a new category for blog posts under “protecting your art“. You can always subscribe to get blog updates from me if you’re interested in hearing more about these things as they emerge.
Today I’m going to teach you a little bit about the inner workings of web crawlers and how to utilize a robots.txt file to block certain crawlers from accessing your website.
It’s been a rough year or so for human creatives. Data-generated images (“AI”) and content have swept the public and resulted in the loss of real, alive, working people losing projects, jobs, and ultimately money. DGI has sewn further confusion and mistrust in social media (No, that adorable baby peacock is not what an actual baby peacock looks like. They do not have cartoonishly huge eyes and mature male feathers) and turned the art world on its head.
The world has changed very quickly since I posted about “AI art” in November of 2022. It was new, and just hit the scene, and everyone was curious about what it was and what it could be used for. By now, you’ve probably been beaten over the head with how unethical “AI art” is (I put it in quotes because it is not actual artificial intelligence, and others argue that it isn’t even art, but from here on out I’ll be calling it the common vernacular), how it steals from living artists, and how it cannot produce anything without a data set (mostly stolen) to begin with. If you don’t know about these things, here’s a great video to catch you up to speed:
Still, I’m not here to beat you over the head about AI art. Instead, if you follow me on Mastodon, you know that I like to test out new technologies and give a “trip report” about them. One of the latest things I tried out is Glaze — a pixel manipulation algorithm that acts like a protective varnish (“glaze”) over your artworks.
Yesterday, the internet was taken by storm by DeviantArt’s announcement of some new services and features. Many people focused on the fact that DeviantArt announced an AI generator of their own, and that by default, images uploaded to DeviantArt were opted in to being allowed to be used for AI training (though not specifically DeviantArt’s AI called “DreamUp”). DeviantArt has since reversed its stance on opt in (now making opt out the default, which should have been the case to begin with), but there were a lot of different, loosely related ideas that were part of this announcement that, unfortunately, were missed. One of these is the release of the “noai” and “noimageai” meta tags, which will help you have more control over whether or not your art is used to train AI image generators.
As artists, it’s easy to simply know that your artwork will, oftentimes, outlive you, and part of your legacy on the world can be quantified through your artistic journey and the creations you made (and possibly even the impact you had on the art world) while you were alive. But not all of us can aspire to the fame and notoriety that many artists climb to. Many artists are happy enough creating, and though they’d love to sell a few works to someone who may permanently collect them, they don’t put much thought into ways to leave a permanent artistic legacy behind – why would you?